House Oversight Chair Serpa requests independent review of UHIP by auditor general
STATE HOUSE — House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Patricia A. Serpa (D-Dist. 27, West Warwick, Coventry, Warwick) has requested the Office of the Auditor General to conduct an independent audit of the expenditures involving contractors and vendors linked to the failed United Healthcare Infrastructure Project public benefits computer system.
Rhode Island Auditor General Dennis Hoyle has accepted her request to have his office expand the scope of his office’s audit functions involving the troubled UHIP system.
“This is a serious problem that has impacted all Rhode Islanders,” said Representative Serpa. “UHIP’s failures had a dramatic effect on our recipients and providers who depended on these services, but the broken system has also impacted all of our state's taxpayers who must foot the bills for this botched effort.”
Serpa has chaired three House Oversight Committee hearings on UHIP and will be scheduling more. As a result of the hearings, she realized that additional resources were needed and has called for action from the auditor general.
“Eric Beane provided our committee with an analysis of the internal operational failures of UHIP, and now I would like an independent audit conducted of the project to take a closer look at the contractual agreement with Deloitte and a complex group of other vendors in order to get to the bottom of this mess,” said Representative Serpa. “It is my goal for the committee to better utilize the auditor general's services and recommendations.”
Of the $364 million involved in the project, Deloitte has received about $200 million and $68 million more is left to be paid the company. Deloitte has also subcontracted work, and other companies received contracts as well.
Chairwoman Serpa has asked auditors to review the various funding streams for the project, how costs are allocated, and whether payments were generally consistent with contract terms. She has requested that the auditors provide the Oversight Committee with this information to help the members meet their responsibilities in conducting the extensive review.
The Office of the Auditor General, as part of its annual single audit, will also continue to assess how UHIP is used to determine eligibility and benefits for multiple federal programs including Medicaid, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). The report, scheduled for completion on March 31, will report findings and offer recommendations related to UHIP which was used to determine Medicaid and SCHIP eligibility in fiscal year 2016. The auditors had also previously communicated findings and recommendations related to UHIP in the fiscal 2014 and 2015 single audit reports.
“Deloitte has been blamed for much of the computer system’s failures in the Administration’s internal report, but a thorough analysis by the auditor general may find failures beyond Deloitte,” Serpa added. “This will give taxpayers a broader understanding of where the money is being spent. There are many contractual obligations still to be met, and the public deserves to know if there are additional problems that have yet to be uncovered.”
For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903